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Alaska Beat

Alaska officials aim to protect river mouths from Nome miners

  • Author: Craig Medred
  • Updated: September 27, 2016
  • Published June 26, 2012

The Nome Nugget reports that the Alaska Department of Natural Resources has modified a rule concerning gold-mining at river mouths where salmon spawn. Suction dredgers will be allowed closer to river mouths come autumn.

During the last 10 weeks of the mining season, suction-dredge miners will be allowed at a distance of 500 feet from the mouth of the rivers. For the rest of the season, they must be a half-mile away, a rule that been on the books for years. With a modern Nome gold rush taking place this summer, that rule will be better enforced, the Nome Nugget reports.

Specifics were announced by Kerwin Krause, mineral property manager at the Department of Natural Resources, on June 15. "Mining offshore of the mouths of the Snake River, Penny River and Cripple River between the dates of Sept. 15 to Dec. 1 is allowed to a distance of 500 feet from the mouths of these rivers. At no time, between Sept. 15 and Dec. 1, may any mining operation be closer than 500 feet to these three river mouths."

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